Being a working mum means one of the best times for socialising is early evening. That way, I can meet up with friends after work and still get home early enough to put my children to bed – it’s a win-win for a mid-week night out.
When I moved back to Yorkshire last summer I started noticing how many cool bars and restaurants there were in Leeds and as I walked past them on my way to the catch the train, made mental notes on which ones I wanted to visit.
So far – and this is over a period of several months – I’ve managed to go to Pintura, Friends of Ham, Zaap Thai Street Food, Bundobust and Byron (Sam’s favourite!), and this week I went out to Brown’s Brasserie in The Light, just on The Headrow.
Last time I visited was for lunch years ago, so I was looking forward to seeing what it was like. The spacious, high-ceilinged space has recently been refurbished and looks really cool and stylish when you walk in. There is lots of natural light, a long bar and lots of velvet-covered seating in jewel colours like deep blue, green and gold.
One wall is wallpapered in a gorgeous leaf print design and there is a grand piano at one end. There are several different levels breaking the space up a bit, and making it feel cosier in parts and meaning wherever you sat you’d never feel too exposed or in the middle of the room. I liked the decor, now it was time to try the food.
Brown’s do a lunch and early evening menu which is two courses for £10.95, but as we decided we’d just have a main course and see how we felt we ordered from the full menu.
I love fish and don’t cook it very much at home because my little ones aren’t big fans, so I like to order it when I go out. I chose the pan fried sea bass on a stew of prawns, mussels, squid, heritage potatoes, tomato, fennel and white wine sauce, while my friend ordered a 7oz steak and chips with Bordelaise sauce.
The food arrived fairly quickly and the service was really good; our waiter was attentive and we didn’t have to wait long to catch his eye when we wanted to order more drinks.
My meal was cooked really well; the seafood was good and the portion was a generous size. The steak was nice too, cooked medium to well done as requested, but when it arrived we both mentioned that it looked quite small.
For a restaurant in that price range I thought the food was good quality but compared to what’s on offer at other venues in the city centre it wasn’t as spectacular as the price suggested.
On the plus side though, the atmosphere was good and for a Tuesday night it was pretty busy. On a weekend I imagine it would be a good place to spend the evening, the bar area is nice and the wine and beer we ordered (a Chilean Sauvignon and a Hiver Honey Beer) were both really good.
The location is good, with a view of the town hall from our table and only ten minutes walk from the station. A great little venue for an after-work catch up!
This post was written in collaboration with The Light